A group of angry protesters slapped and assaulted noted filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali on the sets of his upcoming movie ‘Padmavati’ at Jaigarh fort in Jaipur on Friday.
A video of the incident, which has gone viral since then, shows members of Rajput Karni Sena entering the filmset, damaging cameras and vandalizing other equipment. The mob also raised slogans and spewed abuses in Hindi.
The angry protesters entered the set before the crew or security could stop them. While some wreaked havoc on the sets, others cornered Bhansali while he was sitting in front of a monitor.
While crew members did their best to shield the 53-year-old director and escort him to safety, the mob gheraoed him. The members of the outfit pulled his hair, slapped and assaulted the defenceless filmmaker.
Meanwhile, others continued to damage the set along with anything else in their path. The entire extent of the damage is not yet known.
Karni Sena members reportedly agitated over an alleged love scene between Queen Padmini and Alauddin Khilji, essayed by actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh. They have demanded that Bhansali delete such scenes from the film.
“The film is presenting wrong facts about ‘Padmavati’. Our basic protest is about distortion of historical facts which will not be tolerated,” Vikram Singh, a Karni Sena activist told PTI.
Singh also alleged that a security guard opened fire in the air which created panic. However, police denied the allegation.
However, it is not clear why the members chose to storm the set first, instead of sitting down with the director and discussing their reservations. The same people had earlier protested against Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar.
Police was alerted about the incident, following which they escorted Bhansali to safety and arrested the miscreants. The shooting of the film, which also stars Shahid Kapoor, has been stopped as the makers have decided to shift the location of the set.
“The filmmakers have assured that they will not shoot here and will pack up,” senior police officer Anshuman Bhomia told PTI, adding that there was no report of firing and no FIR has been lodged by any party so far.
The historical drama is based on the life of Rani Padmini, who chose to end her life instead of submitting to emperor Alauddin Khilji when he arrived at the Chittorgarh fort with his army.